Trouble reading this? Click here.

RockeNews Banner

Have you seen the inaugural Western Alumni Magazine? If not, let us know. It hit mailboxes in November! Be sure to watch your mail for the Spring edition coming in March!

WIU in the News

Todd Bastean Named WIU CBT Distinguished Alumnus

Col. Rock III Seventh Birthday Celebration March 3

University Marketing, University Relations Win Awards for Marketing, Social Media Efforts

President Thomas, BOT Chair Early Participate in Higher Education Rally

"SITREP: Veteran Perspectives on Combat and Peace," magazine for WIU veterans and service members will continue for third year

What’s Happening at Western

WIU Graduation Fall 2016

College Department News

Upcoming Alumni & Friends Events this month

Alumni Benefits

Popular Links

Recent Alumni & Friends Events Around the World


Director's Column





In this Issue
President Thomas: February 2017 Update Letter
Area Legislators Participate in "Western 101"
WIU BSN Nursing Degree Named One of Top Five Most Affordable

Leathernecks Clinch Summit League Basketball Title
Join WIU for Purple and Gold Day 2017
Nelson, Mabrey to Receive 2016 Town & Gown, Honorary Alumni awards, respectively
Alumni & Friends Events in Moline, Peoria, New Orleans and Mt. Sterling this Month

President Thomas: February 2017 Update Letter

President Jack ThomasDear University Community,

On February 15, Governor Rauner delivered his 2017 Budget Address to a joint session of the General Assembly at the Capitol. We are pleased that the Governor proposed an increase in MAP grant funding. However, the lack of a full FY16 and FY17 appropriation continues to have a serious impact on public higher education and the entire State of Illinois.

We acknowledge the significant fiscal challenges faced by our state's leaders and have done our part to reduce costs at Western Illinois University. We have requested, and will continue to request, funding that will allow us to continue our mission of educating the citizens of Illinois and beyond. We continue to work closely with our legislators to ensure that Western and Illinois public higher education receive adequate funding.

In his address, the Governor stated that Illinois must be an economic driver in order to recover from the budget crisis that has plagued the state for several years. Last week, I addressed hundreds of people at a Higher Education Rally in the Capitol Rotunda in Springfield and advocated for support of higher education.

Read more.

Area Legislators Participate in "Western 101"

Western 101

On Monday, Jan. 30, area legislators came together at Western Illinois University's Macomb campus for "Western 101," a WIU-sponsored event designed to share information with state representatives and senators.

Organized by WIU President Jack Thomas and Western's Director of Government Relations Jeanette Malafa, the inaugural event brought regional legislators from the House and Senate to Western for budget- and academic program-related updates, general University information and the University's $473 million economic impact on the 16-county region.

"We appreciate the time our legislators took out of their busy schedules to attend 'Western 101' to learn more about our University and how Western impacts the legislators' districts," Thomas said.

Read more.

WIU BSN Nursing Degree Named One of Top Five Most Affordable

BSN Nursing Degreein Top Five AffordableCollege Choice, an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college, has recognized Western Illinois University as one of the most affordable online BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degrees in the country.

WIU ranked number five on the list of the top 20. The publication pointed out the programming WIU offers for nursing students as a reason for its ranking.

WIU School of Nursing Director P. Lea Monahan said she is proud WIU is able to offer outstanding educational programs in nursing at affordable prices for working RNs.

"Our programs are not only affordable, but are all online, so they are convenient with faculty used to working with students at a distance," said Monahan.

Read more.

Leathernecks Clinch Summit League Basketball Title

Womens Basketball Cinch Summit League Title

In front of the largest crowd in program history, the Western Illinois women's basketball team picked up an 81-76 Senior Day victory over South Dakota to win the Summit League Regular Season Championship outright.

"It's a dream come true," said head coach JD Gravina. "We've built something special here. These girls believed, and it was a special day in front of a special crowd. It doesn't get any better. It took a special group of girls and we found an identity. We have great leadership and they are everything you could ask for in a team. Every single person on this team is very selfless and I'm lucky to be a part of it."

The win marked the first regular season league title since 2005-06, and also matched a program-best 23 wins.

Read more.

Join WIU for Purple and Gold Day 2017

You are invited to join us for Purple and Gold Day 2017 in Macomb and Denver!

Macomb Purple & Gold Day
5:00-7:00 p.m.
The Sport's Corner @ 124
124 N. Randolph St.
Macomb, IL

Denver Purple & Gold Day

5:00-7:00 p.m.
Location TBA
Denver, CO

Events at both locations will include an early evening social with complimentary food and a cash bar. We will have a special announcement streamed live around the world during the socials. We hope you will join us in a city near you or during the live streaming message!

Nelson, Mabrey to Receive 2016 Town & Gown, Honorary Alumni awards, respectively

To recognize his contributions for exceptional service in continuing the partnership between Western Illinois University and the Macomb community, John Nelson, third generation owner of Nelson's Clothing, has been named the recipient of the 2016 Town & Gown Award from the WIU Alumni Association.

In addition, to recognize his exceptional service to the WIU community, Jeff Mabrey, owner of the Macomb Domino's, has been named the 2016 Western Illinois University Honorary Alumni Award recipient from the WIU Alumni Association.

The announcements were made during the Feb. 25 Men's and Women's Leathernecks Basketball games in Western Hall, and their awards will be officially presented at the annual Purple & Gold Day celebration April 24 at the Sports Corner in Macomb.

Read more.

Alumni & Friends Events in Moline, Peoria, New Orleans and Mt. Sterling this Month

Join Western Illinois University and your WIU Alumni Association ...

Western WednesdaysMar. 1 - Quad Cities Western Wednesdays in Moline

rivermenMar. 3 - Colonel Rock III’s Birthday for WIU Night at the Peoria Rivermen Pregame Social & Hockey Game

Mar. 12 - New Orleans Alumni & Friends Social with WIU's Jazz Studio Orchestra performance at World War II Museum

Mar. 29 - Mt. Sterling Alumni & Friends Social and Dinner

June 3 - Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field



RockyCan you find this exact Rocky (in black and white) somewhere else in the eNewsletter? If you find him, email us at
and let us know where he was placed. One winner will be picked from all the entries emailed on the first day of the month and will get a WIU Prize Pack! Good luck!

****Congratulations to the February winner--Molly McNamara '05. She discovered Rocky on the Think Purple page.****


Travel with WIU


You are receiving this newsletter because you are an alumnus or friend of Western Illinois University. Email us to unsubscribe.


Back to top

Western Illinois University Alumni Association
1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455